Community center still falls short | Federal Way Letters to the Editor
June 30, 2008 · Updated 9:54 AM
Community center still falls short
I read with interest your article about the Federal Way Community Center (June 21.)
It made me think back to when this center was being “touted” as a real need in the community. I attended at least some of the presentations, one of which I recall at the 320th Library, where I saw many of the usual faces, but not a real representation of the total community. Here they were telling us how wonderful it would be. At that time, I think I even mentioned it should be voted upon. Again, Celebration Park was one that was placed on the ballot a couple of times, then put through anyway.
I heard at this time from city council member Jim Ferrell his concerns because of businesses such as Bally’s, 24-Hour Fitness, etc., and how this would be a competition for the community center. Maybe so — maybe these places fit people’s pocketbooks more.
I know it does mine, being a senior citizen and having to pay the co-pay for Medicare. I can go to the 24-Hour Fitness through the Silver Sneakers program for “free.” Well, not really free when I’m paying monthly on the Medicare plan. But all in all, it’s a good deal for me and I’m sure for others.
I mentioned at this meeting that as I was raising my kids, they were busy with school, music lessons and other activities, let alone a paper route and then a “real job” at age 16, which luckily they were all along South 320th Street from the library to Wendy’s. Their main “community center” was church activities.
As I see it, we are not a very affluent community when you look at the number of students who qualify for the reduced price lunches. We are probably only one of many communities that has two Wal-Marts. Not bad-mouthing them, though, as they are one of my places I shop.
I don’t know how the $23,500 will be spent to bring back that amount or more to help with the financial problems, but maybe it would be wise to send out a survey to 500 addresses in our community and get their opinions. At a cost of a postage stamp, you might get more than what we may get out of this amount the city council voted on.
I do appreciate our city council and the hours spent to make our community a good place to live, but sometimes we can’t “have it all.”
Bush Derangement in Federal Way
Karen Hedwig Backman’s letter to the editor (June 4) in reply to Angie Vogt’s column (“Thank you U.S. soldiers for your courage”) is nonsense.
That Vogt’s article, inspiring a sense of appreciation and pride in our military, could have provoked such a response convinces me that BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) is alive and well in Federal Way.
Backman’s shotgun response tried to hit anything and everything, hoping something would stick. It failed. The patriotic article by Vogt accurately and poignantly expressed the views of most of us. Therefore, Backman’s broad claim the article is “empty rhetoric” is not supported by her litany of bare assertions.
As readers have come to expect, it reveals a deep-rooted obligatory negative mantra, pervasive in her group, which distorts the intent of the article. Backman and her ilk are noisy, but their uninformed, liberal, anti-American views do not resonate with sensible people. Shades of Cindy Sheehan. Come up for air and show some appreciation for a change. The troops who put themselves at risk on your behalf deserve it.
Don’t hand bully pulpit
The letters on the June 25 opinion page speak better for me than I can.
The detailed, articulate and reasonable views of Stephen E. Smith mirror mine on the topic of guest columnist Bill Pirkle.
Surely you are not that hard up for content? I am retired and 62; Mr. Pirkle does not speak for me on any age-related issue.
I have been a public high school teacher in this state. I promise you he speaks through his hat when he chooses any education-related topic. I have been in classrooms since the 1970s. Engaging the attention of students is a huge effort. Dedicated teachers dig into their bag of tricks for any approach to bring the child into the academic world.
I just about spit when Mr. Pirkle belittled the teacher with texting as a hook to develop a communications project. The description of the project sounded like a success and a value to the community.
Mr. Pirkle’s comments on racial or gender subjects are equally Neanderthal. It breaks my heart to read his 1950s-era words. I fear they will hurt others in our community.
I came up through the 1960s and 1970s. As a female, I encountered stupid stuff in the workplace, in college and in our culture. Once you battle through those arenas, the last thing necessary is a serving of old, negative memories with your morning coffee.
How about a rotating grade school, middle school or high school column?
By the time the schools in Federal Way are included as well as the journalism, English and science arenas, you will have reams of current fodder for your readers. And such a column will give honor to a child and a school instead of handing the bully pulpit to a curmudgeon.
Better still, use the space for a while for those in our community who are fighting for improvement to Federal Way schools in the very immediate case of inequities in state funding for our schools. That is a real crime and misuse of public trust, which deserves ink.
Talk to State Rep. Skip Priest about the recent battle to save libraries and librarians’ jobs. There, too, is a huge story that got nationwide attention in the education world. Much of the momentum began in our ZIP code by mothers and teachers.
Mr. Pirkle just isn’t relevant any longer.
Sharon J. Sloan,
The definition of diversity
There seems to be a difference of opinion on the meaning of “diverse” or “diversity.”
According to a Webster’s Dictionary (1982 edition), diverse is an adjective that means different or varied.
Nowhere does it say anything about race. So growing up in a diverse neighborhood can mean anything, from the country some came from, or where their parents came from. Color should not be and is not the issue. Also, the Federal Way School Board is made up of many people from different walks of life, with different ideas about what is best for the district. Therefore, the board is a diverse group of people.
Growing up in the CD (central district) and now living in Federal Way, in a diverse neighborhood, gives insight to who we are and where we came from. In the CD, there were families from all walks of life. Yes, some were of a different color than my own, but our families all had the same thoughts in mind, raising children to become good citizens and carry it to the next generation. But we were all brought up the way our grandparents had brought up our parents. Therefore, our learning was diverse. We are all unique in our make-up, and this is why we have diversity.